3 Tests To Evaluate Used Cars

Not all used car dealerships are honest. While the team at New Jersey State Auto Auction may be dedicated to getting you behind the wheel of a car you can trust, other sellers are more interested in your cash. It's these less-than-reputable dealers who may try to employ scams or tricks to convince you to invest in a low-quality car. 

"Spot used car schemes before they get you."

But you aren't without power. All you have to do is arm yourself with a bit of knowledge and you'll be poised to spot the schemes before they get you. Here are three tests you can conduct as you're browsing a used car selection to make sure a vehicle is in good shape. While these examinations won't catch everything, they do act as a way to spot some of the most common cover-ups in the industry. 

1. The Magnet Test
You can determine if a car has had any shoddy repairs with the help of the magnet test. Consumer Reports recommended prospective buyers complete the simple process to make sure the frame of a vehicle is safe, and it's pretty easy to do. Take a magnet and run it across a vehicle's doors and fenders. In most cases, the magnet should be attracted to these spots. If it doesn't stick, it could be a sign of body filler or some other subpar patch. 

2. The Sniff Test 
Odors can signify a lot of things going on with a car. While most drivers would love to inhale that new car smell every time they sit behind the wheel, the reality is they may sniff something that indicates damage. Check the interior and the trunk for any out-of-place aromas. It's a good idea to brush up on some of the most common smells before hitting the lot to easily identify problems. For example, a musty or damp odor is often a warning sign of water damage, whereas the stench of rotten eggs might indicate problems with the engine. 

A quick sniff in a car's interior could identify a potential problem. A quick sniff in a car's interior could identify a potential problem.

3. The Tailpipe Test 
Take a look at the car's tailpipe. Most people might not give this a second thought, but you should set aside a few seconds to scope out the gear. All you have to do is take a peek at the tailpipe and determine how dirty it is. Should there be any type of build up present, such as black gunk or grease, it's a sign that the engine is burning oil. That's not how a car should run, and although there may not be any major damage, it's still a repair that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. 

Of course, a great way to avoid used car scams is to bring your business to a reputable facility. NJ State Auto is one such auction lot. You can browse through hundreds of Carfax-certified used cars, trucks and vans to find one that's a perfect fit.